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Main research question/goal
How do various fixation methods for ritual slaughter of cattle score regarding animal welfare, religious acceptation, work safety, and economics? Cattle that are slaughtered for religious purposes are often not stunned in advance. The animal is either standing on all fours or rotated on its side or back. So far, the exact impact of the various fixation methods on animal welfare and religious and socio-economic aspects is unknown. The goal of this project is to make a comparison between the different fixation methods in these fields and to produce documented guidelines with the necessary support of the involved religions.

Research approach
We will make an inventory of the methods that are currently used to slaughter cattle for halal and kosher meat in the EU member states, and in a number of non-EU countries. In the project partners' countries we will interview slaughterhouse directors and staff for more detailed information, and we will visit a number of slaughterhouses to assess the welfare of the cattle. In the course of stakeholder meetings and meetings with religious authorities we will assess the feasibility of the different scenarios in the light of animal welfare, work safety, costs, and religious acceptance of the various fixation methods.

In many European countries cattle are slaughtered without prior stunning, e.g. for halal and kosher meat. We expect to get a clear picture of the best fixation method for unstunned slaughter in terms of animal welfare.  We will clarify to which extent this method is socio-economically feasible. We will formulate recommendations for the involved parties and the government, based on a thorough comparison of the systems.

Funding provider(s)

External partner(s)
Bar Ilan University
INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
Institut de l’Elevage - French Livestock Institute
Institut de Recerca I Technologia Agreoalimentaries
Institut de Recherches et d’Etudes sur le Monde Arabe et Musulman
Royal Veterinary College
University of Perugia
Wageningen UR - Livestock Research
Effective start/end date7/12/126/06/14

ID: 4147464